DOJ Clears InBev Merger With A-B

Agreement calls for divestment of Labatt brands in U.S.

ST. LOUIS -- Global brewers InBev NV SA and Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. have reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that satisfies its requirement to approve the transaction, the companies announced last Friday.

Terms of the agreement call for InBev to grant a perpetual and exclusive license to brew, market, distribute and sell the Labatt beer brands in the United States to an independent third party.

Labatt Brewing in Canada will be allowed to brew and supply the Labatt brands to the U.S. licensee for an interim period of three years. The existing [image-nocss] Labatt USA operations, based in Buffalo, N.Y., that currently support the brand in the market, will be sold to the licensee.

The divestiture of the Labatt business in the United States will take place after the merger deal closes. The combination with InBev is subject to all other necessary regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions. A closing date has not yet been announced, but the brewers expect to complete the transaction as promptly as practical.

InBev said last week that a majority of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. shareholders have voted to approve the proposed combination of InBev and Anheuser-Busch during a special shareholder meeting held yesterday in Secaucus, N.J. InBev shareholders approved the combination on September 29.

Upon close of the transaction, all shares of Anheuser-Busch will be purchased for $70 per share in cash, and Anheuser-Busch will become a wholly owned subsidiary of InBev.

Anheuser-Busch announced earlier in the week that it has settled all of the shareholder litigation regarding its pending merger with InBev. The settlement is subject to approval by the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is a leading American brewer, holding a 48.5% share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50% share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27% share in China brewer Tsingtao.

InBev is a publicly traded company based in Leuven, Belgium. It manages a segmented portfolio of more than 200 brands such as Stella Artois, Beck's, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Skol, Quilmes, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, Sedrin, Cass and Jupiler. In 2007, InBev realized 14.4 billion euro of revenue.